Improved Interoperability Needed To Fulfill Health IT's Promise

Susan D. Hall | FierceHealthIT | January 8, 2013

Analysis calls for better connections, easier access for patients, providers

Health IT has failed to live up to its promise so far, largely because it's not interconnected or easy to use, and because providers have not made changes in the way they deliver healthcare services to reap its benefits, according to Arthur Kellerman, M.D., a policy analyst with RAND Corp., who writes in this month's Health Affairs.

The analysis--which is co-authored by Spencer Jones, Ph.D., an information scientist at RAND and an instructor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School--follows up on a widely cited 2005 report that concluded that rapid adoption of health IT could save the U.S. more than $81 billion annually. The results since then are mixed, according to Kellerman and Jones, though, they point out, healthcare spending has grown by $800 billion annually.